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now on "andrea mitchell reports," from congress to conservative think tank, what will senator jim demint's departure from the senate mean for republicans? following breaking developments from capitol hill. >>> finding a fiscal fix. is a grand bargain possible before the end of the year? tim geithner tells cnbc the white house is ready to over the cliff if republicans don't budge on taxes. >> is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> oh, absolutely. >> alan simpson co-chair of the president's debt commission, says both sides are making a high stakes gamble. >> when you have leaders of parties and people of the administration saying, i think it will be to the advantage of the democrats to go off the cliff, i think it will be advantage to the republicans to go off the cliff, or the president to go off the cliff, that's like betting your country. there's stupidity involved in that. >>> syria on the bring. secretary of state hillary clinton holds emergency talks with russia as u.s. officials confirm reports that the syrian military is prepared to launch chemical weapons a
to jim demint's senate seat. melissa perry sounds off. and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally. is bigger than we think ... sometimelike the flu.fer from with aches, fever and chills- the flu's a really big deal. so why treat it like it's a little cold? there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies. prescription tamiflu attacks the flu virus at its source. so don't wait. call your doctor right away. tamiflu is prescription medicine for treating the flu in adults and children one year and older whose flu symptoms started within the last two days. before taking tamiflu tell your doctor if you're pregnant, nursing. have serious health conditions, or take other medicines. if you develop an allergic reaction, a severe rash, or signs of unusual behavior, stop taking tamiflu and call your doctor immediately. children and adolescents in particular may be at an increased risk of seizur
not. >>> and all that matters. >> south carolina tea party says jim demint is resigning. >> leaving the senate a lot better than i found it. >> jim demint leaves some big shoes to fill. >> jim demint leaves some big shoes to fill. then again -- captioning funded by cbs en again -- >>> welcome to "cbs this morning." i'm charlie rose in new york. norah o'donnell is in washington. the northeastern coast of japan is still recovering from a devastating tsunami, less than two years ago. this morning, history threatened to repeat itself. >> that's right. a major earthquake struck in the pacific ocean overnight, setting off tsunami warnings in that same area that was hit so hard back in march 2011. lucy craft is in tokyo. lucy, good morning. >> reporter: good morning. this latest quake is just another reminder of how terribly vulnerable japan is to an assortment of natural disasters. memories of that triple tragedy in 2011 are vivid for all of us, but especially up in the northeastern coast of japan, which has yet to rebuild since last year's tragedy. here in tokyo, the 7.3 magnitude earthq
7th. mart in a. martha: thank you vermart in a. martha: thank you very much. bill: jim demint the pep tea party senator from south carolina will leave his position in the senate and take a job at the heritage foundation. it's news crossing right now. bret baier's timing is perfect. he's live in d.c. right now. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning. bill: demint is the guy who came out of the pau palmetto state. it was cut spending, make government smaller, and now this only after a couple of years. what do you make of it? >> reporter: this is a big deal. actually it's a surprise. frankly, many people inside washington believed jim demint might actually try to run for president at some time. some believed it was going to be last name, some believed he might even throw his hat in the ring for 2016. this announcement that he is leaving his post as senator, the junior senator from south carolina, and will take over at the heritage foundation, conservative think tank here in washington, that is a big job, and heritage foundation puts out a lot of things, as you know, and h
. stay away. so i guess jim demint is following that trend. what does that say about the most exclusive club? >> and the tea party. >> it's very telling. but first have to wish you happy slash the 'stache day. >> oh, thank you, mike. >> it's big, mike. a big day here. >> exciting. >> and this is one sign of how the younger, more partisan congress is pushing power to the outside. and it was very telling that jim demint, when he announced this, which took everyone by surprise. we knew that he wasn't running again in 2016, but he hadn't said what he was going to do. and he was in line to be the top republican on the commerce and transportation committee, a very powerful, very lucrative committee. they're going to be in charge of a rewrite of the highway bill, they're in charge of telecoms, a lot of other areas that bring in a lot of contributions. but when he announced this, he gave an interview to the editorial page of "the wall street journal," and he talked to rush limbaugh rather than talking directly to his colleagues. and that said it all about this outside power that you were pointi
, conservative, even some liberal sometimes on the broad issues that face us, man, and jim demint knows how to do it. he knows the markting side as well as the issue side. >> it's a big job. it's not just thinking. you've got to raise money. you've got to go out there and speak and you've got a big staff. >> he's got to administer 250 people. we've got 600,000 members tlout the country who are going to be really ecstatic. it's an exciting time at heritage. >> should there be a compromise in order to avoid going over the fiscal cliff? john boehner is already ready for $800 billion in early tax revenue. this is raising the tax rate on the wealthy. but eliminating loopholes, are you with the speaker of the house? >> unfortunately, the presidency has already taken us over the cliff. businesses have already paired back their plans and they're hiring for next year anticipating what's going to happen. so we can fix this christmas eve, if we want. but we've already hurt the economy and hurt -- >> are you with boehner? >> i'm not with boehner. this guy doesn't need more money. >> we doubled spending. >> w
did south carolina senator jim demint replace when he originally won his senate seat? the answer, earnest hollings. hollings, a democrat, served nearly 40 years in the senate. for most of those years he was there alongside south carolina's other long-time senator, strom thurmond. >>> all right. i'm just going to say it, fiscal cliff, i know, i know, you've heard it. you've heard enough of it, but after another week without progress in washington, the possibility of plunging off the ejd is edge is becoming more of a reality and that could mean real changes for real people. stephanie rule joins me live now to talk a little bit about this. good morning, stephanie, how are you? >> good morning, randi. i was just saying moments ago that i am very concerned about the fiscal cliff but tearing up over besse cooper and the 8-year-old twins from oklahoma. what a morning you're having. >> what a life she had. >> amazing. >> well, let's talk about the cliff now that your eyes are dry. i hope this doesn't bring you to tears -- >> not yet. >> 24 days and counting until that deadline. but for t
brushes. go to oralb.com for the latest offers. >>> south carolina senator jim demint is now talking publicly about his surprised announcement to step down from the senate. he abruptly quit the president to become the president of the influential conservative think tank, the heritage foundation. >> i don't think republicans will win another national election until conservatives first convince americans that our principles work. i think i'm in a more powerful position than a single united states senator. i wouldn't feel good about living if we didn't have so many new, bright young conservatives in the senate. >> joining me now is steve and republican strategist and form are campaign manager for huckabee, jim saltsman. >> hello. >> pmr. demint has been trying o leverage his position as the tea party's uncompromising man in the gop and that his effort has failed or stalled. >> i don't think i agree with "the washington post" at all. i think he's had a great impact across the country and i think the move to the heritage makes a lot of sense to him personally. he always said he was going
. with the surprise news today that senator jim demint after blasting speaker boehner's debt reduction plan will step down from the senate to head a conservative think tank. quote, i've decided to join the heritage foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. yes, the strong leadership of lobbyists. asked by rush limbaugh if boehner was forcing him out, demint replied, it might work a little bit the other way. let's get to our panel. with us from washington is msnbc political analyst david corn, msnbc contributor dr. jared bernstein, senior fellow at the center on budget and policy priorities and a former economist for vice president joe biden and also with us is msnbc political analyst karen finney. david, first, senator demint dumps all over boehner's job plan, now he's jumping ship altogether. how much of a loss is mr. demint, a man who once said single mothers who live with their boyfriends should not be allowed to teach in public schools? >> we at mother jones.com just put up the seven craziest things jim demint has ever said. there was a lo
the day then. we just got this breaking news that senator jim demint is going to leave the senate in january to become the president of the heritage foundation. demint had been holding boehner's feet to the fire on these tax cuts. what's your reaction to that and this on the heels of reports that boehner is getting strong backing in the house? >> let me start with senator demint. he always has seen himself as a movement conservative. i think what he thinks is he can make a much more significant and much more impactful difference outside leading this movement, ala at the heritage foundation. the heritage foundation has always been an incubator of ideas. moving on to speaker boehner, this is a good thing that he has his caucus behind him. i remind you and the audience that has not always been the case. a lot of tea party folks and other folks have never trusted speaker boehner but they've given him a lot of leeway given the fact they're united by this overall principle that they should not raise taxes on small business owners. >> shouldn't it mean that you should stick out your term
, with the will of the american people. real quickly, though, the jim demint announcement this morning. surprised by that that he's going to be leaving? >> not really. he is one vote in the senate. demint is a staunch conservative. he is pretty well connected to business because that was his culture before he came into the senate. fact is is that he may be able to do more for the conservative movement in this country as head of the heritage foundation than he would be what he's doing in the senate. he was the lead dog about going after obama care. well, that didn't work. there was no waterloo. he is somewhat scarred national live now as far as being legislatively inept because he can't work with anybody over on the left or in the center. he is so ideologically bent, i think the heritage foundation is going to be a good home for him and could be a good come back for conservatives because they're in disarray right now. >> you can watch "the ed show" every night at 8:00 p.m. the front page of "the huffington post," "tax me, please please." the seattle times says "license to marry, it's official," more than 200 lbg
disaster areas in late october. >>> tea party leader and some say gop king-maker, senator jim demint of south carolina, is stepping down from congress, this happening on january 1st. demint will become head of the heritage foundation. that's a conservative think tank with an $80 million-a-year budget. demint is just two years into a second six-year term, and south carolina governor nikki haley will appoint his successor. >>> so, 2012 was officially the most expensive election in american political history. the final reports show that spending on the campaign broke the $2 billion landmark and milestone in its final weeks, helping set the record. las vegas casino mogul sheldon adelson and his wife poured more than $95 million into super political action committees that helped republicans, including mitt romney. >>> this sounds more like a plot out of a tom clancy cold war novel. a rove navy sailor is suspected of telling top-secret submarine tracking technology to the russians. nbc affiliate reporter andy fox with wavy has this story. >> reporter: robert hoffman appeared in court weari
on the right that we saw a resistance to speaker boehner's position. now senator jim demint announces that he's going to step away from the senate entirely. he had already said that he was going to retire, so he would be leaving the senate eventually. and this eases the path a little bit for speaker boehner to continue those negotiations with the president. and we know that boehner and the president had a phone call just yesterday, late in the day, we don't know exactly what they said in those conversations. so that's the news here in the senate. >> it's still happening in a broader narrative, dick armey has had a fallout with his group. we' i wonder does this mark a new chapter in the future of the tea matter? >> absolutely it does, and it marks sort of a post election reckoning among conservative forces generally in washington and across the company. we saw a jack kemp yesterday where he had marco rubio and paul ryan addressing crowds. the republican party is trying to figure out where do we go from here and there's a lot of moving pieces as part of that. >> stu very much for that. of cours
for president of the united states of south carolina, now steven colbert for senate? with republican jim demint leaving the senate before his term is over, there is already a groundswell of support on the web for colbert to take that seat. someone already created a twitter account and scooped up the colbert for senate website. nikki haley gets to appoint someone to finish demint's term. colbert better start his campaign. >>> and late night goes up in smoke. clearly the hosts were high on the idea of legalizing pot last nigh night. >> marijuana became legal in the state of washington, which makes -- [ applause ] -- yeah. that makes 19 states which have now legalized marijuana. which, of course, raises the question how the hell did hostess go bankrupt? >> an entrepreneur in colorado rafted an ice cream infused with marijuana. which is why when you go to put it in the freezer it's like i'm already chill, man. >> as of today, washington state legalized both marijuana and day marriage. that's a true story. yeah. so today men all over washington have two different reasons to say i love you, man. the
at the process and say, where are we today? what's possible? >> but isn't it a lot easier to do what jim demint did? and that's what i did when i was in congress. >> i think that actually helps boehner. >> why does it help painer? >> because he's drawn a line in the sand for the fiscal conservatives. and it communicates to both the white house and boehner, here's how far you can go. the other side of that is is the proposal that was offered to the president had all these signatures of all the leadership plus paul ryan coming back. so what boehner's done is said here's, we're as a team including paul ryan, suggesting this. what you have is some firming up on the conservative side, which i think says boehner, this is probably about as far as you can go. >> right. exactly. and so since joe said, so what is the outcome? what is your -- a compromise, you want to get a deal done, what do you think is possible here as a final tactic? >> i think you could create a -- what i would recommend doing is create a small package that shows the debt markets, not the american people, the debt markets that we're
. a powerful republican senator suddenly calling it quits. south carolina senator jim demint will step down december 31st to lead the heritage foundation. it's a powerful conservative think tank in washington. demint says he can be more effective outside the senate. >> a lot of my role in the senate has been stopping bad things and saying no to bad things. but we need to do more than that and tell americans what we're for. one of the mistakes i think the republican party made the last two years is trying to make obama the issue without sharing with america bold reform ideas that get people inspired to get behind us. >> senator demint, huge tea party supporter. sometimes clashes with his own party's leadership. he is leaving with four years left in his senate term. earlier, he said he'd retire when the term was up in 2017 but gave no previous indication he might quit now. i want to go to dana bash joining me on the phone here. dana, huge surprise to a lot of people. what's behind the resignation. >> reporter: a huge stunner. nobody saw it coming. i was told by a source close to demint he did
national review online, robert costa. what's up with this? i want to just add, senator jim demint coming out forcefully against speaker boehner's plan, and house member jim jordan also coming out against the plan. is the gop splintering? is there a civil war? >> larry, i'm here on capitol hill and what a raucous day today was for conservatives. you never really hear about it, but there's a group on capitol hill called the republican steering committee. they're a private group of lawmakers that decide committee spots and they announced that four lawmakers, popular conservatives from the class of 2010 and beyond would lose their coveted committee spots in places like the financial service committee and the agriculture committee and even the budget committee because they're not voting with leadership. there is irking a lot of conservatives because they think boehner is trying to exert too much control as these fiscal cliff negotiations continue. >> let's see if i get this right. top of the daily crawler website, a good one. conservative groups launch campaigns to depose boehner from speaker
. >> alfonso, speaker boehner is already seeing backlash within his own party, jim demint releasing a statement calling the tax revenue proportion of boehner's $800 billion tax hike. so here it is with boehner trying to make the base happy, meanwhile trying to meet the president within these negotiations and rise up to his leadership vision. what else is it that the base doesn't seem to like? if the base was able to rally around the right candidate that they wanted to for president, mitt romney would be worried about this coming up in the next presidential term. >> look, the fact that boehner's been criticized by conservative organizations and other republicans show that he's seriously considering negotiating the white house and we saw the results of the election, we're willing to concede their increases in revenue but to the point of my colleague, we are not in parliamentary democracy but we're not in a monarchy either. we're in a constitutional democracy and the mandate of the people was for both parties to work together. republicans are saying, we're willing to increase revenue. what is the
today. jim demint spoke out against boehner's proposal to the president. >> republicans should not be conceding that the federal government needs more money, negotiating with ourselves, and treating the president's proposal like it's serious. >> very critical of john boehner. and demint's press release aimed squarely at john boehner. $800 billion tax hike will destroy jobs, allow washington to spend more. as you all know, john boehner put an $800 billion tax hike as a center of his proposal. so john boehner got rejected from the white house, which wants another $800 billion on top of that in tax hikes and then rejected by the right wing of his own party which wants absolutely no tax hikes at all. so unlike harry reid, i actually feel genuine sympathy for john boehner. so kudos, speaker, for showing deserters or desenters who is boss. boehner stripped house members who opposed key committee assignments today. and earlier i spoke with one republican leader in the house who himself has been out of step with boehner in recent days. deputy whip congressman tom cole of oklahoma. he s
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and certainly in the senate was an issue, as jim demint left. he is going to run heritage. you have paul ryan and marco rubio speaking at a jack kemp dinner. and i want to play a piece of sound from each of them. and it says something about how they see the future of the republican party. >> i've heard it suggested that the problem is that the american people have changed. that too many people want things from government. but i'm still convinced that the overwhelming majority of our people, they just want what my parents had, a chance. >> both parties tend to divide americans into our voters and their voters. let's be really clear. republicans must steer far clear of that trap. we need to speak to the aspirations. we must speak to the aspirations and the anxieties of every american. >> newt, that's a long way from the 47% of mitt romney. >> well, first of all, every republican should be focussed on what we just talked about. i mean, if their competitor in '16 is going to be hillary clinton, supported by bill clinton and presumably a still relatively popular president barack obama, trying to w
to confirm here now conservative south carolina senator jim demint is leaving the senate in january. if he does step down, governor nikki haley would be able to appoint a temporary replacement. are you surprised by that at all, tony? >> i am. it's the first i've heard of this. nikki haley would have an opportunity to name a replacement. you'd also have to consider nikki haley a strong candidate to run for that position. so definitely something a lot of people would want to look for. >> what do you make of this, kiki? >> well, look, i think that the conservatives in the republican party are probably looking for leadership. demint has been that consistently conservative person but i think we've got to hear from him why he's making that choice to leave the senate and do that. >> all right. thank you again both. i also want to say that i was also just handed this, that new jersey's governor chris christie just entered the white house through the west executive entrance but he apparently is there to talk about sandy aid. also making news, a massive recovery effort in the philippines after a cat
parting advice when he did. we are talking about senator jim demint. >> it didn't win in south carolina and the republicans that were eec lected run on limited government and less taxes. they shouldn't give in to that and the princele is wrong . the president doesn't have a plan. all it is is a political trophy to the left. we need to do what is good for america. taxing the rich is not going to help the middle class. >> brian: he has four years left on a second term. he's done more for the tea party movement. you talk about marco rubio and senator cruz in texas. >> steve: ram paul. >> brian: ram paul. i am stunned he would leave in a position of leadership and a go to guy to go to the heritage foundation. >> steve: the heritage foundation is a think tank and in the u.s. senate he is one of hundred voices and over there he will be taking over the guy. >> gretchen: money is number one. $174,000 as a senator and may not be the insentative and make over a million bucks and he said it was an honor to be asked. if could be frustration, too. look, he believed that could you wantry is facing a
of the most powerful forces in the tea party. republican senator jim demint of south carolina, the unwaivering godfather of the movement, announced he is leaving the government. he says he thinks he can be effective at head of the conservative research group, the heritage foundation. and, as one powerful senator exits the stage, another sounds an alarm tonight about the waste of taxpayer dollars. republican senator tom coburn triggers of washington watchdog report and abc's jonathan karl . >> reporter: the zombie apocalypse. this isn't some really bad b-movie. it's an actual scene from the 2012 counterterrorism summit attended by law enforcement officials around the country. summit tickets, $1,000 a pop, paid for with your tax dollars. the zombies look scary, but organizers say the skit was solely to add levity to an otherwise serious meeting on protecting the homeland. senator tom coburn says it's an exhibit in $7 billion in questionable homeland security spending every year. >> wasteful. >> reporter: in a new report, coburn sites example after example, including nearly $0,000 for an underwat
have slammed boehner's plan. jim demint obviously among them. do you think john boehner is the guy who's going to get this done? is he going to be able to lead your party to consensus? >> i don't know the answer to that question. what he's trying to do is to mitigate the damage that obama would do with these massive increases in rates. impasse is not an option. means everybody's taxes go up, but if the president has his way, taxes are going to go up on those very wealthy folks making over 200,000, but most are small businesses filing a subchapter s companies, about 88% of net small business income will be for these taxes when we're depending on them to create two-thirds of the new jobs. boehner's trying to mitigate that mess. i wish him luck. something's going to f to have to give. >> from everything i've heard is that we are realistically, there's two options for country. one, go over the cliff. the other, extend the bush tax cuts for the 98% of americans. everyone who makes under $200,000 a year if they're single. those seem to be the two choices. between those, which do you pick? >>
split. for example, senator jim demint said speaker boehner's tax hike will destroy american jobs and allow politicians to spend even more, et cetera, et cetera. keep in mind where boehner started, that's not where they're going to end up. they have to go to the left, so he's going to have a problem on his hands at least from some parts of the party. this woenn't be the end, either. immigration is probably next. that's another tough pill for some republicans to swallow, so this is going to be an ongoing saga. >> you're right that it is a very inside the beltway story, but it is sort of an important story in that we see how boehner has to deal with this caucus. he's kind of got multiple factions around him, multiple parts of the gop to rein in. that's probably the most difficult part for him, and he has this white house very powerful, has the leverage, has the wind at its back from just winning the election. the people are saying that they're going to blame the republicans if this -- if we dive off the cliff. now, if they don't sell the capitulation in the right way, then the right
're having such a difficult time with that. let me get your take on what senator jim demint said. he said house speaker john boehner's plan, which of course is raising $800 billion in proposed revenue by overhauling the tax code. it's not necessarily raising the rate. it's broadening the base, perhaps lowering some taxes and overhauling that tax code. he said that would destroy american jobs. as the chief executive of a major u.s. corporation, do you agree with that? >> i think it's hard to decide whether it's going to destroy a job until you know what the specifics are. i do think you need to provide incentives for people to keep growing their business, to make more money. i think a really high progressive tax rate won't do that. i do think -- if you raise the rates by a couple points, it's not going to drive everybody crazy. i think what we have to do is get the government out of this industrial policy where every time we turn around, they want something done. they pass a tax law. they get people to invest in it. then they turn around and blame you for taking advantage of the tax law. t
. senator jim demint said speaker boehner's $800 billion tax hike will destroy american jobs. yes, he said speaker boehner. one party proposes increase in an effort to counter them. the other party's leadership proposes, wait for it, $800 billion in tax increases and then former alaska governor sarah palin blasting boehner's decision to remove some conservatives from plum house committee assignments writing, come on now, gop. don't go wobbly on us. congressman jim jordan, an influential group of conservatives criticized the boehner plan. >> the problem i have with the republican proposal, frankly, is that it does raise taxes. the thing we need is economic growth. you're not going to grow the economy, put in place a framework conducive to job creation if you're raising ta s taxes. >> oklahoma senator tom coburn said conservative criticism might not be all that bad. >> i think that helps boehner. >> he's drawn a line in the sand for the fiscal conservatives and it communicates to both the white house and boehner. here is how far you can go. >> coburn also acknowledged house republican plan
up next on "andrea mitchell reports," jim demint is out. the tea party leader announces his departure from congress. what does it mean for the senate and the future of the republican party? chuck todd, gop senator leader john barrasso and more. congressman john larson on what role house democrats can play in the budget negotiations. and the latest on the showdown in syria and defense secretary leon panetta's warning for president assad with former ambassador nick burns. male announcer ] jill and her mouth have lived a great life. but she has some dental issues she's not happy about. so i introduced jill to crest pro-health for life. selected for people over 50. pro-health for life is a toothpaste that defends against tender, inflamed gums, sensitivity and weak enamel. conditions people over 50 experience. crest pro-health for life. so jill can keep living the good life. crest. life opens up when you do. [ tylenol bottle ] me too! and nasal congestion. [ tissue box ] he said nasal congestion. yeah...i heard him. [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal
behind them being comforted? so the optics are not equally matched. i want to talk about senator jim demint and his resignation. we knew he would leave the senate. this timing surprised people. he said in his resignation, michael, i'm leaving the senate and not living the fight. i've decided to join the heritage foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. dick army left his conservative group and senator demint making this transition to the think tank. is this another impact of the election? another consequence of the election? >> yeah, i'd love to know what his republican colleagues are saying behind closed doors. from my perch, you know, this is a guy who played a significant role in costing the gop about a half-dozen seats that they otherwise would have won. look at what happened in i understand. look at what happened in delaware where the mindset of senator demint seems to be one of, let's win the battle, even if we're going to lose the war. they've lost about a half-dozen wars because they put forth names that could win a primary
is looking to replace jim demint. south carolina native and favorite son stephen colbert with with an idea of who should fill that seat. >> who will she pick? you want somebody young and conservative, somebody from south carolina. maybe somebody who had a super pac. wait a second. >> watch where you point that thing. it's powerful. okay. >> governor haley jokingly writing thank you for your interest in the u.s. senate seat, but you didn't know our state drink. big, big mistake. for the record the state drink in south carolina is milk. the 2012 presidential election broke the $2 billion mark making it the most expensive race in american plital history. federal finance reports show president obama's re-election team raced just north of $1.1 billion while team romney raised just under $1.1 billion. that story is the topic of our gut check on this friday. what does your gut tell you? is a $2 billion election too expensive? go to facebook.com/newsnation to vote. that will do it for this friday edition of "news nation." i'm craig melvin. "the cycle" is up next. oh...there you go. wooohooo....hah
into cnn, we have confirmed senator jim demint will step down as of december 31st. he's from south carolina. leading member of the tea party. he'll take over the head of the heritage foundation. cnn's dana bash live on capitol hill with more. why did senator demint decide to step down? >> we're trying to get more information from his aides. maybe find him in the hallways here. it's a bit of a surprise because demint has felt that he's been able to be effective here in congress because he has been kind of a conservative very willing to push his own leadership in ways that often times they don't want to be pushed with regard to deficit reduction, with regard to strict fiscal policy. that's by far his number one issue. i can tell you he's also really angered republican leaders over the past two election cycles by raising millions of dollars, a lot of money, for republican candidates who "establishment" thought were less able to win the general election. he is a purist. he's an anti-tax, anti-government purist. it does seem that he's kind of had it here. he wouldn't be the only one to say that
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